Monday, 13 May 2019

BER-YITSKHOK ROZEN


BER-YITSKHOK ROZEN (December 29, 1899-November 23, 1954)
            The author of stories and memoirs, as well as a journalist, he was born in Warsaw.  He was raised in Otvosk (Otwock) in a Hassidic spirit.  He was orphaned early on his father’s side and engaged in various kinds of labor to support his family.  He was active in the youth group Tsukunft (Future).  He served as secretary (1919-1920) for Sh. An-ski, later for the Jewish journalists’ and writers’ association at 13 Tłomackie St.  He graduated from the Yiddish drama school in Warsaw.  During WWII he made his way as far as Shanghai.  In 1947 he arrived in Melbourne where he worked as a teacher of Yiddish literature.  From 1926 he was a reporter for Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) and Unzer ekspres (Our express).  With articles, stories, and poetry, he contributed to the Warsaw Bundist Sotsyalistishe yugnt-shtime (Voice of socialist youth) and Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm).  In Varshever shriftn (Warsaw writings) of 1927, he published a story entitled “Shigoen” (Madness).  In Melbourne, he placed work in Oyfboy (Construction) and Unzer gedank (Our idea), and for a short time he served as editor of the weekly Di yidishe post (The Jewish mail).  In book form: Roye erd (Raw earth), a novella (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1926), 112 pp.; Tlomatske draysik (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1950), 135 pp.; Portretn (Portraits) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1956), 238 pp.; Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (Melbourne: Bukh-komitet, 1957), 190 pp.  Concerning Rozen’s book Roye erd, Zalmen Reyzen wrote that “he touches with the assurance of a novelist on erotic themes in the poor, crowded environs of a small Jewish town.”  He died in Melbourne.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 17, 1954); P. Shvarts, in Unzer tsayt (New York) 1 (1955); Y. Grudberg-Turkov, Af mayn veg, shraybers, kinstlers, askonim, dermanungen un opshatsungen (On my road, writers, artists, accountable parties, remembrances and evaluations) (Tel Aviv, 1971); Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Moyshe Ayzenbud


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